“Hao” (pronounced “how”) is one of the first words we learned when we tumbled off the air-conditioned plane into the steamy summer heat of Wuhan, China, six years ago. When you are bombarded with all new strange sights, sounds, and smells, it was comforting to master a word that held such versatility. It could mean everything from “enough” when the fruit man keep piling apples on the scale to “stop” for the taxi driver to come to a screeching haul to “good” to express to the sweet cooks at the hole-in-the-wall restaurants that we loved their spicy, but delicious food. As I was reading the book “Bound by Love” (by Linda Droeger), a biography of the founders of CCAI, our adoption agency, I was both excited to recognize this word, as well as perplexed at this lesser used definition of “hao.” Precious.
“Bao bao” (rhymes with “how”) we came to learn later in our Chinese language acquisition is a term of endearment, similar to our American forms of “sweetie” or “kiddo.” Therefore, put together, this phrase we think perfectly captures God’s view on children, including the over 140 million orphans worldwide: